I can't remember where the original for this recipe came from; the original called for a ham hock. As with most stews, its better to refrigerate overnite before serving, but who wants to do that? To compensate for the lack of hog jowl I usually add quite a bit more thyme. Usually at least a second teaspoon towards the end of cooking the peas. Adding a jalapeño when cooking the vegetable can add some kick.